As progressives gear up for advocacy during the General Assembly session – now in its third week – our allies are proposing issue agendas close to ours. Check out the work of the Maryland Legislative Coalition and The Job Opportunities Task Force/Working Matters keeping us focused on the non-trivial proposals among the growing number of bills being filed. Read on...
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, January 21, 2020
As progressives gear up for advocacy during the General Assembly session – now in its third week – our allies are proposing issue agendas close to ours.
The Maryland Legislative Coalition alerts us to hearings for the coming week https://mailchi.mp/5eb040cd017d/2020-maryland-legislative-session-welcome-1150875?e=d378240ba7
And checks off some significant bills filed so far https://mailchi.mp/9d3e27e36b16/2020-maryland-legislative-session-welcome-1150867?e=d378240ba7
The Job Opportunities Task Force/Working Matters has a weekly legislative roundup that pursues their agenda of protecting recent gains for working families and adding new ones, especially in employment and training opportunities for a changing, greening state economy and in decriminalizing poverty.
All these proposed bills have to jostle for room inside some form of state budget. Kevin Kinnally of Conduit Street, the newsletter of the Maryland Association of Counties, has a roundup on the Budget Briefing presented to legislators by the Department of Legislative Services. It is more than you ever wanted to know, but features outstanding explanatory graphics. https://conduitstreet.mdcounties.org/2020/01/20/fiscal-briefing-highlights-budget-big-picture/
Community College Shortfall? The governor’s budget proposal, as discussed in Kinnally’s MaCo article, above, increases the money going to the state’s community colleges over last year but falls short of the annual increase called for in the legislative mandate of the 1996 Cade formula – a matter of concern to counties, of course.
Progressive Maryland’s BlogSpace and Weekly Memos will follow the Assembly session – but when that ends in April, we’ll keep going with our advocacy for progressive efforts in Maryland and, sometimes, how they are echoed in the wider region and nation.
And speaking of helpful emails – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email.
In Maryland, movement co-governance means electing progressive candidates to office is only the start -- we need to build a strategy to keep progressive policies up on the board where they can be championed, and support our officials in being those champions. As FDR told the legendary union leader A. Philip Randolph -- "I agree with you. Now you need to make me do it." He was talking about the pressure of people's action, and it is needed today more than ever. Keep your eyes out for our training on movement co-governance in early 2020; a tentative date to save is Feb. 8.
The Push for More Support for Community Schools is at the heart of the Kirwan Commission proposals to improve Maryland’s schools and they’ll be front and center for the General Assembly as it opens this week (see above). But you can find out lots more from our roundup of the blogs we have published on education reform in the second half of 2019; see them in this previous Memo. See also the advocacy work of the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” coalition, including Progressive Maryland and teachers’ organizations statewide, and activism (below) in the PMD Montgomery chapter entry.
Medicare For All is gaining support nationally and in Maryland -- Next Up – Sunday, January 26 Medicare for All Town Hall in Annapolis, 2-4 PM at Stanton Community Center, 92 W Washington St, Annapolis, MD 21401 among co-sponsors, Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition. Single-payer Healthy Maryland bill or bills should drop soon in the Assembly.
How are activists moving Medicare for All closer to reality? Read People’s Action health organizer Connie Huynh’s account from our blog of victories against the entrenched profit-over-people health care system.
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND IS HIRING – Organize with us throughout the state and in digital and strategic organizing tasks – check the opportunities here.
OUR CHAPTERS AROUND THE STATE
Education issues, state and local, continue to be a focus for PM’s Montgomery County work.
We support MCPS’s Districtwide Boundary Analysis. There’s been some opposition to conducting the analysis so MCPS needs to hear positive feedback from the community about the analysis. Here’s a link to a letter that you can sign. Please share with friends, neighbors and family members, too.
Kirwan Commission Action -- Please call, email or write to your Delegates and State Senators asking them to fully fund the Kirwan recommendations. An important point emphasized by Strong Schools Maryland: Only the full range of proposed systems changes will make a difference for all Maryland students--the changes needed in education practice and funding require a comprehensive approach, not a selective one. So we need full funding, not piecemeal spending, for the whole package of proposals to get to world-class schools.
Thanks for taking action on these issues at this critical time. Contact Patty Snee at [email protected] if you want to learn more about what the MOCO Chapter is planning.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES
TODAY, Tuesday, JAN 21 Beloved Community Interfaith Network, 6:30 PM -- discussion on US-Iran diplomatic relations towards a goal of peace, led by Donna Farvard from the National Iranian American Council. Adelphi Friends Meeting, 2303 Metzerott Road, Adelphi, MD 20783)
Sunday JAN 26, Medicare 4 All Town Hall in Annapolis 2-4 PM at Stanton Community Center, 92 W Washington St, Annapolis, MD 21401 among co-sponsors, Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition. See more above.
Tuesday, FEB 4 Transit Equity Day Celebration in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties – 6:30-8 PM, CASA de Maryland Multicultural Center, 8151 15th Ave, Langley Park, Md 20783. The mission of Transit Equity Day, celebrated on Rosa Parks’s birthday, is to elevate public transportation as a workers’ rights, civil rights and environmental issue.
Baltimore progressives, Check in on the wide-ranging Baltimore Activist Alert calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our recent blogs are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at [email protected]
We recently published these blog posts:
January 20, 2020 Dr. King for the ages -- then and now
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose revered memory may hit us most sharply today, was one of us.
In his breakthrough 1967 Riverside Church address in which he overtly opposed the Vietnam War, he confessed “Over the past two years, … I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences”. … Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.”
We can all be paralyzed by such doubt and fear. Dr. King showed us that a true “revolution of values” requires a radical departure from those concerns. Richard Eskow makes some informed speculations how King’s uncompromising realism would see the challenges since his death in 1968.
January 16, 2020 Progressives push tax reform to fund Kirwan plan
Progressive Maryland legislators, worker organizations and economists in the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition are backing a package of tax reform bills that could increase state revenue by $1 billion and make the state's tax system more equitable. This account from Maryland Matters has the details.
January 13, 2020 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, January 13, 2020
In the Progressive Maryland Memo today: General Assembly launch and info, education, health care, Progressive Maryland is hiring, February training, and more.
>REMEMBER – these blog posts are frequently expressions of political opinion from our wide-ranging membership and circle of allies. They are not expressions of opinion by Progressive Maryland. Don’t be surprised if they sometimes vary in their political content. You might even disagree with them – a good reason to contribute a blog of your own. Send it to the moderator, Woody Woodruff, at [email protected].
>>Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace from June 2015 through December 2016 are all available with descriptions and links here. You can follow blogs for 2017-18 starting from here